Bob Dylan had his first American Top 40 hit today in 1965 when the song he’d made the world’s first “rock video” for, Subterranean Homesick Blues, peaked at #39. John Lennon later admitted to being blown away by the song, and didn’t think he’d ever be able to write anything that good.
It was tonight in 1967 that Paul McCartney met the love of his life when he went to see R&B singer Georgie Fame at the Bag ‘O Nails nightclub in London. New York photographer Linda Eastman (no relation to George Eastman of Eastman-Kodak) had been sent to capture Swingin’ Mod London, after almost falling into a career as a rock-and-roll photographer. Her previous shots had all been of horses while she was working as a receptionist at Town and Country magazine when she’d been the only one with a camera at a Rolling Stones party on a yacht on the Hudson river, and suddenly she was getting assignments from Rolling Stone magazine. The two were married in 1969 and were inseparable until her death of breast cancer in 1998. A Linda shot of Eric Clapton became the first photo by a woman to grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and when she appeared on the cover with Paul in 1974 she became the only person ever to have both taken and appeared in photos on the cover.
It was tonight in 1968 that George Harrison and Ringo Starr attended the premier of a film George had written the soundtrack to, Joe Massot’s Wonderwall, which featured Anita Pallenberg, the common-law wife of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, and would later inspire Noel Gallagher to write a huge hit for his Manchester band Oasis.
It was today in 1974 that Mr. and Mrs. Frank Zappa announced the birth of their 3rd child, a boy named Ahmet Rodan after the flying mutated pterosaur that battled Godzilla in Japanese sci-fi films. Naturally as a child of Hollywood, he would later become well-acquainted with a certain KZOK morning show host.
It was today in 1976 that The Rolling Stones had their 6th #1 U.S. album with Black and Blue, their first with Ron Wood. Promotional billboards and magazine ads featured a bruised, bound and gagged scantily clad female, which earned the band all kinds of heat from feminist groups, and inspired the famous Nigel Tufnel line in the Rob Reiner rock-mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap: “Well, what’s wrong with being sexy then?”
It was today in 1982 that Asia went to #1 on the U.S. album chart. Ostensibly a prog-rock but decidedly commercial “supergroup” featuring Yes guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Geoff Downes of later-era Yes and The Buggles, drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson Lake and Palmer, and bass player John Wetton of King Crimson, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash.
Having been on the market for about a month, Courtney Love’s real estate agent closed the deal that sold the Denny-Blaine neighborhood mansion Kurt Cobain had bought when Nirvana hit it big today in 1997. The buyer, a software tycoon who’s managed to remain anonymous, paid $3 million for the property, and before moving in had the detached garage with sunroom above where Kurt had shot himself 3 years earlier torn down. Directly across the street from Denny-Blaine Park on Lake Washington and Starbucks honcho Howard Shultz’s lakefront home, it’s also got the small Viretta Park next door, which has become a pilgrimage site for Nirvana fans worldwide.
Rock and Roll Birthdays
Multi-instrumentalist and record producer Brian Eno (full name Brian Peter George St. John de la Salle Eno) is 69. He’s most famous for his work with Roxy Music and with Robert Fripp, and has produced hit albums for David Bowie, The Talking Heads, and U2.
Uriah Heep bass player Gary Thain would be 67 today had he not overdosed on heroin and become a member of what Kurt Cobain’s mom would later call “That Stupid Club” of rock stars who died at 27.